EARLY ATTRACTION TO HOOPS LEADS BABLES TO ISLANDERS
Growing up, Michael Bables was attracted to basketball at an early age and followed the game religiously. During this time, the lone true freshman on the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball was drawn to many teams one being the Miami teams of current Islander head coach Perry Clark.
"I always wanted to play for one of coach Clark's teams," said Bables. "I remember watching a lot of games and really liked how he coached and the way his teams played. I looked into his background and saw the success he had at Tulane and knew someday I would like to play for him if given the chance."
The 6-1 guard from Garland got the chance when he signed with the Islanders just before the start of the 2009-10 academic year. Bables was recruited heavily early in his high school career but then an injury his junior season lessened the interest from colleges.
"Recruiting was a long process," said the freshman, who suffered an ankle injury in high school. "Early on I was being recruited by multiple teams, but then I got injured and most backed off. It allowed me to see who was committed to me not only as a player but as a person."
The Islanders came into the picture late as a suitor for the guard.
"They came late into the picture, but when I realized I would get a chance to play for coach Clark I knew that's what I wanted to do," said Bables. "I wanted to go somewhere I would get the chance to play and be comfortable."
When Bables signed over the summer, he became the lone addition to the Islander roster this season. He joined Terence Jones as freshmen. However, Jones redshirted the 2008-09 season practicing with the team in the process easing his transition.
While confident in his ability to play, Bables also knew he had a lot of work to do. Fortunately with four seniors - Kevin Palmer, LaMarr Drake, Shamar Coombs and Marcus Hammonds - returning in the backcourt along with Jones, the newcomer has had help in adjusting to the college game.
"It has been really shocking going from high school to the college game," said the Bables. "I knew it would be a lot of hard work, but my teammates have been a lot of help. I have a lot of good guys to look up to. The tremendous coaching has also helped.
"I knew I was capable of playing at this level when I came here, but I also knew I would have a chance to learn because of the seniors. It will be beneficial because I still have a lot of time left."
Thus far Bables has seen limited action playing in just seven of the team's first 19 games, but that doesn't mean he hasn't had an impact this season.
"I know my time will come on the court, but right now I just want to do whatever I can to help this team get better," he said.
In practice, that means spending a lot of time running the point on the scout team. Bables prides himself on readying his teammates - primarily fellow point guards Drake and Jones - for what they will face.
"Being the scout team point guard I like to see how well I prepare them," he said. "This past week I was (Lamar's Anthony) Miles in practice. When I see them be able to slow him down it makes me feel good. Offensively, I try to use my quickness and shooting ability to take it right at them. On defense, I try to really press them. I try to be a pest in practice on both ends of the court.
As evidenced by the 4-0 start in Southland Conference play, Bables has been successful in helping his team get prepared and no doubt his teammates appreciate it. That being said the rookie still receives his fair share of grief.
"It is all outta fun," said Bables. "They give me a lot of teasing and when we travel, I have to carry extra bags. There is a lot of joking around, but I expect it. I look forward to doing it next year to the new guys."
That being said, Bables speaks like a veteran when discussing his future.
"I am doing whatever I can to make the team better in whatever role I am asked to play. I am going take each year one at a time. I like the situation I am in," concluded the rookie.